The Big Bear Computer Club Online Newsletter
— Volume 8 — Issue 4 — Bearly Bytes Online is Published on the First of Every Month —

April 2008

President’s Message

cleary3.jpgIf you miss the March General Meeting, you missed a fun filled evening. It was our first training meeting and it went so well that I could hardly break everyone away from their group. We hope to have a larger group at our April 8th meeting which will be held at the Discovery Center. Remember if you have a laptop bring it along, as it helps to have hands-on training; if not, that is fine too.

At this time, I wish to extend our sincere appreciation to Norene and Ray from the Bear Coffee & More for allowing us to have the last few meetings at their lovely place of business. This will be our alternate meeting place when the Discovery Center is not available.

Training will go on for a couple of months and then we are planning to have presenters during the summer months, one of which will be Terry Currier President of the WINNERS Computer Club in Orange County. He always comes up with some neat sites and free software. We will also have a presentation on CES which is held in January in Las Vegas. Our summer potluck in August will be a highlight of our summer.

Karen Tangeman, Vice President, will be conducting the April meeting as I will be on vacation. I will see you in May.

March Door Prize Winners

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Christine Knight — How Computers Work by Ron White
Mary Ann Boone — BackUp Now! 4 Deluxe Suite by NTI
Chaz Langdon — Bottle White Zinfandel and 50/50 ($20.50)
Rosemary Lloyd — One XL Black Tee-Shirt by AMD
Norene Lieser — Digital Image Suite by Microsoft
Carole Allen — One XL White Tee-Shirt by PC Club

Microsoft VISTA Training

The Big Bear Computer Club is offering a Workshop on basic knowledge of "MICROSOFT VISTA" on Saturday, May 17, 2008, from 10:00 am until 2:30 pm. The VISTA Workshop will be held at Bear Coffee & More (next to the Peppercorn Restaurant) on the corner of Stone and Pine Knot in Big Bear Lake, CA.

Those attending the Vista Workshop Training are asked to bring their laptops with Microsoft Vista. For more information or to sign up for the Workshop, please contact the instructor, Rosemary Lloyd at (909) 584-9358 or email Rosemary • SugarloafPC.com

Fun in the Sun and Computers Too!

The 15th Annual Southwest Computer Conference will be held May 30, 31 and June 1, 2008 at the Town and Country Resort & Convention Center in San Diego, CA. The conference is open to all Windows, Mac and Linux end users who will learn about the latest technology. The conference fee postmarked by May 15th is $60 which includes workshops, seminars/tech sessions, networking with other computer users, vendor presentations, meals, and the ever-popular Vendor Expo. This conference is open to the general public over the age of 18.

From your computer hardware to your software, batteries, electrical cords, microchips and surge protectors, all of these legitimate items are represented by counterfeit, pirated or illegal goods coming into the United States, as well as the rest of the world. The National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Center was up and running in 2000 as a multi-agency response to the growing issue of Intellectual Property crime in the United States. Dixie L. Faries, will be the Keynote Speaker on Friday, May 30, at the Southwest Computer Conference being held in San Diego, CA. Ms. Faries is the Management & Program Analyst for National Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) Coordination Center, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. She will address the dangers involved in purchasing and using these products.

Fill out the registration forms by going to www.theswcc.org. For further information attendees should contact Judy Taylour at judytaylour@theswcc.org or vendors should contact Patricia Hill at PatriciaHill@theswcc.org.

Excel Tip: Changes in Excel 2007 Color System

excel.gifDon has some complex worksheets that are in their present state after years of development. These worksheets use the classic 40-color palette for fonts, patterns, and borders. When Don opens the workbook in Excel 2007, he noticed right away that the program apparently doesn't use the same colors used in previous versions of Excel and his original well-understood color-coding system is now a horrible mix of all sorts of colors. Don wonders if there a way around this, short of throwing out Excel 2007.

Don is not the only person to have this same question, and for good reason-Ex­cel 2007 has, indeed, abandoned the older 40-color palette and replaced them with color themes. These themes cannot contain as many colors as the old pal­ette, so if you used the old colors extensively, then you may be out of luck.

There is one workaround-you can still use the Format Painter to copy old-ver­sion colors to new cells in your worksheet. This means that you could open your legacy worksheet on an older system, copy all your colors to a series of cells in a new worksheet, and then use that worksheet as a "palette" in conjunction with the Format Painter to format your cells in Excel 2007.

This problem (and suggested workaround) is discussed in somewhat more detail on this page by MVP Bob Umlas:

(Thanks to Steve Aprahamian, Hafizullah Chishti, and Russell Hendel for contrib­uting to this tip.)

Win Tip: Be Spyware-Aware

windows.gifSo, how do you pick up spyware? About as easily as a cold— all you have to do is browse the Web for a while. Not all freeware is really free— in some cases, you pay by getting spyware along with it. If you use a peer-to-peer file-sharing program, you almost certainly have spyware, either directly bundled with the sharing program or from an infected fellow file sharer.

There are steps you can take to minimize your risks, but we recommend purchasing a good antispyware utility, keep it up to date, and follow safe computing practices:

  • Don’t take candy from strangers: If you didn’t specifically request a download, don’t click on the OK button to tell your browser that you want the download.
  • If it’s spam, don’t click: It won’t enhance your love life or your hairline, but it may load malicious code on your system.
  • Don’t invite anyone in: Set Internet Explorer to prompt you when sites attempt to push ActiveX controls onto your machine—and to reject unsigned ActiveX controls automatically (Tools | Internet Options | Security | Custom Settings).
  • Don’t give it all up: If you must use a file-sharing app, at least set it not to share your entire hard drive. In fact, consider keeping any files you might want to share in one specific folder, and then setting the app to share only that folder. At the very least, exclude all system folders (anything within C:\Windows) from sharing.

For reviews of antispyware utilities, visit this site.

Word Tip: Creating a Numbered List

word.gifNumbered lists are used quite extensively in many types of documents. For instance, numbered lists are used extensively in WordTips to detail the steps that must be followed to implement a tip. Word makes it very easy to insert a numbered list into your document. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Type your list, only pressing Enter at the end of each item in the list. If an item runs more than one line, do not press Enter at the end of each line (let the text wrap to the next line automatically).
  2. Select all the items in the list. You can select huge blocks of text quickly and easily by using the mouse. You only need to click at the starting point of the block and then hold down the Shift key as you click and the ending point.
  3. Click on the numbered list tool on the Formatting toolbar. (If you are using Word 2007, click the Home tab of the ribbon, then choose the numbered list tool in the Paragraph area of the ribbon.)

Tip applies to Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007

Monitor Financial Accounts Regularly

Detect suspicious activity by routinely monitoring your financial accounts and billing statements. Be alert to signs that require immediate attention:

  • Bills that do not arrive as expected
  • Unexpected credit cards or account statements
  • Denials of credit for no apparent reason
  • Calls or letters about purchases you did not make

Inspect:

  • Your credit report. Credit reports contain information about you, including what accounts you have and your bill paying history.
  • The law requires the major nationwide consumer reporting companies i.e. Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion to give you a free copy of your credit report each year if you ask for it.
  • Visit www.annualcreditreport.com or call 1-877-322-8228, a service created by these three companies, to order your free credit reports each year. You also can write to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P. O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281

New Members

James Gonzales
Sharon Gonzales
Angie Pezina
Norene Lieser
Raymond Lieser
Teresa Foley

BBCC March 2008 Cash Flow Statement

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